Did you hear that noise? It's HP dropping the gauntlet on the mixed reality scene with its new Reverb headset, which delivers an impressive 2160x2120 resolution per eyeball.
That is a big leap over the 1440x1440 resolution of HP's first-generation mixed reality headset, with the Reverb offering more than twice as many pixels overall. It's also ahead of the original Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the best VR headsets, both of which use 1080x1200 displays, and it even beats the 1440x1660 resolution found on Samsung's Odyssey and HTC's Vive Pro.
According to RoadtoVR, the Reverb is the highest resolution headset among consumer models with a field of view in the 100-degree range (the Reverb has a 114-degree FoV).
"As the commercial VR segment is expected to grow to $34 billion by 2022, customers are seeking lifelike VR viewing to help open doors to new business opportunities in product design, training, and engineering," said Spike Huang, vice president and global lead of VR, HP Inc. "The time for commercial VR is now and adding HP Reverb to our broader virtual reality portfolio is an important step in addressing this growing market."
HP is focusing on commercial clients first, with a Pro Edition model that will sell for $649 in late April. In addition to the headset itself, the Pro Edition comes with a 3.5mm headset cable. 0.6m headset cable for use with HP's Z VR backpack, two motion controllers, a cleanable face cushion, and a DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort adapter.
There will also be a slightly cheaper consumer model available in late April, priced at $599. The headset itself is the same, but you don't get a 0.6mm cable or the washable face cushion. Both are backed by a 1-year warranty.
HP also redesigned the look of the Reverb. The design is similar to the Rift and less like the crop of mixed reality headsets on the market. It's also vented to "keep heat and sweat down."
On paper, the Reverb is a solid leap in the mixed reality space. Whether users will be willing to pay $599 and up remains to be seen.